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Morality Outlawed, Intolerance Tolerated

Morality Outlawed, Intolerance Tolerated
Shafiq R. Mahajir

Interest. What one is interested to have continued, not terminated or stopped. People who are prosperous and living in independent houses in affluent precincts have interest in certain privileges that salubrious atmosphere and greenery afford to them, continued, and no high-rise construction allowed.

Entitlement. Interest claimed as a right. Relatively less affluent people have a right to seek erection of high-rise buildings in those land units since they cannot afford independent houses. The law allows such construction. Interests of some and rights of others conflict.

Tolerate. Endure. Put up with. Ipso facto, not quite welcome, permit, not reacting to violently. One must, restrained by law, tolerate the other.

Question: Should intolerance be tolerated?

England: People couldn’t build spoiling the countryside. In Europe, they could live in caravans just about anywhere. Pre-Brexit UK saw EU Law positioned higher than UK law, compelling Britain, however unwillingly, to allow such habitation. EU Courts overruled UK Courts. Resentment of the upper crust, at their privilege, a pristine countryside, eroded, was understandable. This is an area where one restricted-application law gives way to another, Federal.

Given a complex social milieu and legal framework, where Constitutional guarantees impact law, itself applied differentially to different classes of citizens, the Constitution being supreme, Constitutional guarantees must prevail.

The Constitution of India gives Muslims, in certain matters involving only other Muslims, right to be governed by their personal law, the Shariah. A Muslim girl marrying a Muslim man would be governed by Muslim Law. Muslim parents are entitled their children’s marital matters be governed accordingly. Constitution also guarantees them right to have, manage and administer minority educational institutions. State, abdicating sovereign functions, continuing reservations, reverse-discriminated against Muslims compelling them to set up minority educational institutions. Compelling managements to use only specific prescribed material for accreditation, it cites that as basis for “regulation”. Now angling for back-door control, it seeks to micro-manage, forcing me to teach what is anathema to me. With no business interfering into the teaching of religious content, it can require secular content meet affiliation-providing institutional regulations. However, a High Court, erroneously of course, thought otherwise. The State (per its political potentates, increasingly intolerant of Muslims and Islam), wants Islamic education taught in minority institutions “along with” other religious content. Extrapolating, when times are so sensitive people are lynched because they are who they are, will judges open Masaajid (mosques) for worship by people of other faiths, and compel me to teach other religions to my children in my home? Imposing content, is intolerance; resisting such nonsense is a legitimate exercise of right, not intolerance. Judicial “inclusiveness” reaching unparalleled proportions matches only monochromic exclusivist majoritarianism.

Everything Islamic is today critiqued by all. Society has an interest children would be protected by law enforced by the State. Children are of various religious and other denominations. These include Muslim children. There are allegedly instances of Muslim girl children being married. Society is upset, since law declares child marriage an offence.

Argument: Act violating law is unsustainable. Girl below 18 years cannot marry.

Counter argument: Law contravening Constitutional right, is unsustainable. Muslims have Constitutional right that marriage be governed by Shariah. Under Shariah, a person attains adulthood at onset of puberty. Girl attaining age of puberty is, under Muslim law, adult. There is thus no “child marriage”.

Response: When girl is married at 16 because she attains puberty, bearing children at very young age destroys her health, society has stake in her health remaining good for long active life.

Counter: Marriage is one thing, having children another. You cannot speculate she will have children before reaching 20, and enforce law in manner that obstructs exercise of her Constitutional right.

Adult. What defines adulthood? An arbitrary number, such that at age 17 years 364 days 23 hours 59 minutes I am child, minor, unable to contract, and one minute later mysteriously acquire capability that places me beyond restrictions? Or natural process of bodily evolution causing physical desire to manifest itself?

Islam is a religion that is not confined within national borders to admit of identity of circumstances. It is a religion that spans continents, ethnicities, cultures, climatic conditions, all of which impact individual growth, maturity, etc. Applicable law that confers adult status on my daughter is law validity of which is saved by Constitution. That right vested in my daughter and me is Constitutional right. Any legislation that interdicts the exercise by her or me of that Constitutional right is to that extent, fit to be declared void. The imagined immediate bearing of children cannot be a ground to deny her or me the right to marry when she yearns for her natural desires to find legitimate satisfaction, driving her to explore illegitimate means of satisfying it, corrupting our home, eroding social as well as Islamic norms, loading her mind with guilt, leaving her life littered with vestiges of unwholesome physical relationships that interfere with the completeness of her union with the man she eventually marries. The so-called liberal society’s norms are surreptitiously, intolerantly, illegitimately imposed upon me, denying me the right to have my child live a morally upright life, all done insidiously projecting the immoral or the licentious as liberal, prohibited by Islam, and according the status of legally acceptable conduct to illegitimate licentiousness, literally legitimising immorality. Legitimising the immoral is actually delegitimising the moral, and ought to be abhorrent, instead of being shamelessly celebrated. Worse, I am the one labelled intolerant.

We live in unusual times. The SC administers law that holds a man innocent until proved guilty. The same SC seeks from political parties reasons why they “field tainted netas.” Taint: stigma, based on allegation. Even before conviction?! POTA TADA COCA all saw inversion of this salutary principle, reprehensible negation of time-honoured jurisprudence, and prudence: You usually can’t prove the negative. Come to think of it, aren’t there any tainted judges, i.e., against whom there are allegations, in office? Should this have at all fallen as a question from the Supreme Court?

Verdicts have been given on incredible grounds of national conscience. That conscience apparently is not awakened at nationwide protests seen every day. That conscience hibernates when students and children are attacked by the very people charged to protect them. That conscience evaporates when threats issue from political upstarts threatening destruction of institutions assiduously built by massive sacrifices over decades, destruction of principles which the Constitution itself describes as fundamental duties.

Should Courts decline to intervene against arbitrary orders demanding, even without trial, compensation ostensibly for property damage despite conflicting video evidence?

An astonished world sees students protesting, exercising a constitutionally permitted right, get bail after longer periods than those attempting murder, firing at protesters with illegal weapons, meriting harsh Arms Act and attempt to murder charges…

It watches inexplicable judicial reluctance to proactively step out to prevent brutalities on students. Observers are at a loss for words at mystifying judicial helplessness in preventing hate-speech from being mainstreamed provoking greater violence when its own stand was violence must first stop for hearings to commence. Human Rights watchdogs watch the spectacle. The persistent, repeated violation of minorities’ right to live without threat of violence, without intimidation, without apprehensions, right to have the law take suo motu cognizance of offences, of verbal terrorism… have these been derecognized that we hear no judicial uproar?

A Court asked whether roads can be indefinitely blocked for protest. It did not ask under what authority of which law brutality was unleashed on peaceful students.

A Court asked whether four-month-olds volunteered for protest. It did not ask why young mothers were constrained to come to protest sitting in chill nights with infants they were unable to leave behind, seeking to protect the Constitution that it was the Court’s duty to protect. Was. Philanthropists established educational institutions on failure of the State to discharge sovereign function of providing education. An astonished world sees protesting citizens discharging another sovereign function: protecting India’s Constitution.

Constitutional morality is passé, immorality legitimised, rights trampled, hate-speech mainstreamed, governance displays malevolence and vengeance… then, rhetorical questions reveal more than the answers.


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